- Loopback audio driver.
The loopback audio driver makes it possible to create special purpose virtual
audio devices based on user land server processes.
Loopback devices are driven by a timer interrupt and no real audio hardware is
Audio loopback devices are like named pipes or pseudo terminals. They are
grouped in client and server device pairs. The server side device must be open
before the client side device can be opened.
Loopback devices are typically used to implement server based special purpose
audio devices. This kind of server can for example transfer the audio data
played by the client application to some remote system using some VoIP
protocol. However the server application doesn't need to be any dedicated
server. Practically any audio application can be used as the server.
The server side applications sets up the native sampling rate and sample format
(number of bits and channels). The server side device can be opened for input
(O_RDONLY) pr output (O_WRONLY). Opening for simultaneous input and output
(O_RDWR) is not permitted.
The server application will automatically be paused at the moment it tries to
read or write audio data for the first time. It will be kept in sleep until
the client side application starts writing or reading data. This sleep period
may last forever and in some cases the first write/read call never returns.
For this reason it's not recommended to use GUI based audio applications as
the server. Note that this wait will occur even in the non-blocking
(O_NONBLOCK) mode (this is intentional feature and not a bug).
The client side device is typically used by any ordinary audio application.
There is nothing special in loopback devices.
Since the loop is unidirectional the client side will be forced to be write only
if the server side device is open for recording and vice versa.
The loop will use the sample rate and sample format (number of bits and
channels) set by the server side application. If the client uses different
settings then OSS will perform the required sampling rate and format
Audio loopback devices differ from "normal" audio devices because an
application is needed at the both ends of the loop. The loop device will
return a "Connection reset by peer" error (ECONNRESET) error.
Applications designed to be used as loopback based server applications
can/should use this error (returned by read or write) as an end-of-stream
- o audioloop_instances:
- Specifies how many loopback client/server audio device
pairs to be created.
- There is no mixer (volume control) related with loopback
audio devices. This may prevent poorly designed audio applications (that
expect/require a mixer) from working. There is no workaround
- The server side application will wait until the client side
application starts using it. This wait may last forever which in turn may
cause unrecoverable (network) problems with some applications.
- Loopback devices may return "Connection reset by
peer" error when the reote side of the loop disconnects the device.
Some recording applications may fail to save the recorded data properly
because of this. Use some other application (such as ossrecord) if this
/etc/oss4/conf/oss_audioloop.conf Device configuration file